Bring your appetite

Published 10:42 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2018

School’s back in session, days will be getting a little cooler soon — we hope — and this Saturday will provide an event sure to help folks get in the autumn event groove and support Suffolk businesses at the same time.

Twenty restaurants will participate in the 12th annual Taste of Suffolk Street Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday. The event site will cover several city blocks in the historic downtown area, on Main Street from Finney Avenue to Washington Street and on Washington from Commerce to Saratoga streets.

Participating restaurants will include Al Forno Pizzeria, Annaliza’s Tastey Philippine Cuisine, A Taste of Jamaica, Baron’s Pub, Boogie’s Soul Food, Brighter Day Café, The Catering Place, Decent People Taphouse, Derl’z Restaurant & Pub, El Korita, Harper’s Table, Holland Produce, Mason’s Grill & Smokehouse, The Plaid Turnip, Planter’s Peanut Store, Plaza Azteca, Suffolk BBQ Co., Sushi AKA, Totoy’s Filipino Store and Uncork’d.

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As you can see, the participating restaurants represent a wide variety of cuisine, from soul food and other American fare to sushi, Filipino, Jamaican, Italian, Mexican and more.

A handful of the spots will promote their specialty fare including peanuts, wine and locally brewed beer.

Best of all, each and every one is a Suffolk establishment. Some may already be your favorites. Perhaps you’ll be discover new hot spots or be moved to visit the eateries and support local businesses after meeting the chefs and owners at Taste of Suffolk and learning more about what they have to offer.

As you munch on your samples, you can shop merchandise vendors offering a variety of goods and services, peruse the new car show, participate in contests, enjoy live music and find something new for your yard or garden with Suffolk Master Gardeners.

The kids can enjoy bounce houses, crafts, face painters and clowns and learn about fire safety in the Fire Safety House — a critical addition with the cooler months soon to be upon us.

As Suffolk Parks & Recreation Special Events Coordinator Emily Upton told reporter Alex Perry recently, the original purpose of Taste of Suffolk, unsurprisingly, was to showcase local eateries. But is has turned into much more than that, and we’re grateful.

Admission to the event is free, but most samples from the eateries cost a few dollars, so show up with an empty stomach and plenty of cash.